At first blush, the books on this week’s list seem quite disparate. But nearly all of them deal with the way America works and doesn’t work, and the stories (true and false) that we tell about the country’s history. There’s reimagining the past in both fiction and nonfiction: A tender debut novel sets a taboo love affair in the years after the Civil War, and a book with three authors deconstructs the myths around the Alamo. There are stories about belonging: funny and moving essays about modern queer life, an emotional account of one woman’s experience as a Korean American and the biography of an author who was committed to showing Jewish life in America. Also: Quentin Tarantino turns his recent film about Hollywood history into a novel; a look at how the Federal Writers’ Project captured the country in the 1930s and ’40s; a year in the life of Serena Williams; an insider’s perspective on the contentious issues of law enforcement.
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